Aerial View of the City of Irvine

Seeing Irvine like Never Before

by RICHARD ROY

I’ve had the good fortune to give dozens of tours to residents, students and industry professionals wishing to learn more about Irvine’s trees and landscapes.

Many say afterward that they can no longer travel the city without noticing the beauty and scale of its landscaping. They’ve always felt it. Known it was there.

But now they know another reason why their city is special. Their walk to the park is more tranquil because it’s shaded by a canopy of trees. Their shopping trip is more delightful thanks to Birds of Paradise that sing with color. Their courtyard meal feels more intimate under an old-world Olive tree.

Here are some stops we might make on a tour:

 

Woodbury’s Italian Cypress trees
The slender Italian Cypresses play off the Italianate design of the monument, as if welcoming it to the neighborhood. They also soften and bring the monument to scale for those walking by.

 

The windrows of Eastwood
A Eucalyptus windrow leads to a Floss Silk tree, connecting Eastwood Village with the history of its land.

 

Canopy of Crape Myrtle
This canopy of Crape Myrtle on a carpet of Pittosporum creates the experience of walking in a garden.

 

The Birds of Irvine
Throughout Irvine, you’ll see a recurring theme — purple-and-orange flowers that splash color on city greenscapes. Notice how a green sheath atop the stem resembles a bird’s body (the beak is pointing down), while the flowers resemble wings, giving this plant its name: Bird of Paradise.

 

Olive trees at Orchard Hills
Hundreds of mature Olive trees create the feel of a secluded Mediterranean countryside.

 

A view of 200 Spectrum Center Drive
These Ficus, palms and lawns create a parklike setting at Spectrum Center Drive offices.

 

The Alder trees of Jeffrey Open Space Trail
Students of landscape architecture study Jeffrey Open Space Trail as an example of a perfectly designed linear park connecting to the city around it.

Richard Roy, a community landscape architect for Irvine Company, directs the design of Irvine villages and parks, including the Jeffrey Open Space Trail.